Mayor Durkan and City Attorney Holmes Condemn the Trump Administration’s Implementation of “Public Charge” Rule

New Rule Will Unjustly Impact Legal Residency Process by Effectively Imposing a Racially-Motivated Wealth Test on Immigrants

Seattle (August 12, 2019) – Mayor Jenny A. Durkan and City Attorney Pete Holmes today condemned the Trump administration’s implementation of a “public charge” rule, which will effectively impose an income test on immigrants and their families applying for green cards, forcing them to choose between reuniting with their loved ones and accessing crucial government services like health care, housing assistance, and other lifeline services.

“In New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty stands tall and holds a torch that lights the way. And it proclaims: ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.’ This rule contradicts the fundamental values on which the promise of America is built,” said Mayor Durkan. “Every day, it seems we wake up to new cruel and hateful policies like this one. Too many people have been hurt. We must and will fight the president’s anti-immigrant and anti-family agenda – and we will win.”

“What kind of country are we when a legal immigrant’s pre-existing medical condition can determine whether they can secure a green card,” asked Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes.  “As much as the president tried to walk back his supporters’ ‘send her back’ chant, it seems in his heart, he’d rather say ‘send them back.’”

In December 2018, the City of Seattle submitted a public comment in opposition to the draft rule. In addition, the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) worked with community to generate over 1,100 public comments in response to the public charge rule.

The City will continue monitoring developments related to this rule.